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  • Josephine Hirschfeld

5 • MOTHERHOOD 101

Updated: Sep 23, 2021


So you’ve decided to have kids (like the Bible says)! Now what?


Let me start by saying that you are embarking on one of the most joyful journeys that God may give you. The road may be rocky at times, there will probably be unexpected twists and turns, and you may even slip down the side of the mountain before reaching the top. But it is so worth it (Psalm 127:3-5). You are creating and shaping eternal souls. You are shepherding over tiny hopes and dreams and fears and talents. And that path that looks treacherous is not to be traveled alone (Matthew 28:20).


But granting all of that, what are you going to do with a bunch of small humans running around? After all, these little people need to be fed, entertained, cleaned, and educated! Practically speaking, who is going to be in charge of raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)? Largely you as the mom are.


Fathers are just as responsible for raising their children, but their care of the home is a much different calling. They are instructed by God to lead, protect, and provide, and their hearts are oriented towards accomplishing those goals for their families (Joel 3:9-10, Genesis 2:15, 3:23, 1 Timothy 5:8, Luke 11:11-12, 1 Peter 3:7, Ephesians 5:23, 1 Timothy 3:12, etc) . Husbands and fathers work hard outside of the home to be able to provide for the inside of the home, where wives largely hold domain. This doesn’t mean that they are excused from the duties of discipline, education, spiritual upbringing, and whatever else is required of raising kids (Psalm 78:2-4, Proverbs 23:24, Colossians 3:21, Hebrews 12:9). But practically speaking this means that moms are going to be responsible for most of the diaper changing, most of the meal making, and most of the daily chores (Proverbs 31:10-31, Titus 2:4-5).


I’m sure that leaves most with a lot of questions. Feminists are already tuned out, so I’m just addressing those of us who care about what God’s word says. In the pursuit of raising kids, there is a lot of freedom in Christ. He has given us talents, skills, desires, and resources to care for our family, and we as women get to weave those together into a beautiful tapestry of unique worship to God. But if we don’t have the right heart, mindset, and attitude, we will squander the gift that the Lord has bestowed upon us.


As I see it there are essentially two different ways a mom can operate: outsourcing and honoring.


It is popular for modern-day mothers to outsource the majority of raising kids. Their daily care is managed by a nanny or a daycare center so mom can pursue her career. Their nutrition is handled by restaurants or processed food. Their entertainment is covered by tablets, phones, TV, and various toys depending on trends. Their education is easy and cheap through the public school system. Spiritual things are the job of their Sunday school teacher, mental health is hired out on an as-needed basis, and anything else that can be done to lessen the burden of children in the home is utilized as budget allows.


Compare this with a mother who longs to honor Christ in all she does and sees raising the next generation as a profound opportunity. Daily care is something that she revels in. It is her full-time job. She makes homemade meals that are well balanced for her kids to enjoy and explore new foods. She joyfully plays with them and creates activities that are enriching and wholesome. Their education is her responsibility, and she is heavily involved in both how and what her children learn. Spiritual discussions are an intentional daily occurrence, mental health is almost entirely a non-issue due to the quality time she spends with her kids individually, and her life revolves around preparing her children to follow God as they enter adulthood.


What a significantly stark contrast! Outsourcing mom is prioritizing herself, and honoring mom is prioritizing God. Notice that I didn’t say that honoring mom was prioritizing her children. This is one of those slippery slopes on the side of the mountain that we have a tendency to get tripped up by. Our focus as moms should be on Christ and what we do for our kids is an outpouring of worship to him. We should be prioritizing our little ones above many things, but never above God himself (Proverbs 3:6).


Now don’t get me wrong. Mothers who honor Christ can absolutely serve a frozen pizza for dinner. They aren’t required to homeschool. Their kids should be able to play self-sufficiently while she reads a good book. Movie nights are not the devil. And if a child in her home suddenly believes he is a girl, moms shouldn’t feel as if they can’t seek professional help for him. Like I said at the beginning, there is so much freedom in Christ here. Where I want to draw your attention is not in the how of mothering. It is in the heart. Mothers who have embraced the work that God has given them are joyfully pursuing excellence in the little things.


I can tell you from personal experience that being pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen is not as bad as feminists will try to make you think it is. But regardless of your preference for shoes, don’t pretend you’re restricted to a life of utter boredom as soon as your first child is born! Of course you can have other pursuits, just not at the expense of your family. The famous Proverbs 31 woman certainly used her talents fruitfully – enough to invest in real estate (Proverbs 31:16)! But her heart was always oriented towards the home. Her lamp didn’t go out at night because she worked so hard to provide what her children needed (Proverbs 31:18).


So if you need to get coffee with the girls, want to pick up a new hobby, or long to start a side hustle that would put your talents to good use, go right ahead! As long as your endeavors are blessed by your husband and don’t take away from the management of your home, you are free to do many things that honor God. Should you be pursuing a career to “have it all” or logging long hours to continue funding your lifestyle? Probably not. Sacrifices can be made, budgets can be created, and egos can be left behind. Your kids, your husband, and your God are much more important.

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